Dr. Vishal Shah, a pulmonologist in the Sleep Disorders Center at Cleveland Clinic, emphasized the importance of focusing during Ramadan month on improving sleep quality and getting enough rest during the night.
"It's known that getting enough quality sleep helps us do better, but studies have shown that sleep also affects our satiety and hunger levels. According to this research, partial sleep deprivation is associated with changes in appetite-regulating hormones (leptin and ghrelin) which may make fasting more difficult."
Dr. Shah explained that some studies have also concluded that without getting enough quality and consistent sleep, the immune response is negatively affected, making people more susceptible to infections in general, as well as taking longer to recover from them.
3 factors behind sleep quality
According to Dr. Shah, there are 3 important factors behind sleep quality:
- Establish a consistent and regular sleep schedule
- Get enough uninterrupted sleep
- Adopt habits that help healthy sleep such as turning off electronic and digital screens.
"Some people change their habits drastically during the month of Ramadan, and how they do it will depend on their lifestyle and commitments, such as work or family. It is impossible to say that one style is better than the other. However, regardless of the approach individuals take, there are steps they can take to help themselves get enough sleep during the holy month and adapt more easily to their usual lifestyles afterwards."
Dr. Shah pointed out that the most important factors in getting a healthy and good sleep are going to bed at a specific hour, waking up at a specific hour each day, and trying to get the recommended amount of sleep, which is 7-9 hours for adults. This will help regulate the body's biological clock, or internal body, and thus enjoy a healthy, deep sleep.
He advised those who choose to divide their sleep into a number of sessions throughout the day, to ensure that this process includes one constant and long period of continuous sleep, which is at least 5-6 hours, and to target the recommended total of 7-9 hours of sleep per day.
Dr. Shah also recommended that those who drastically change their sleep patterns during Ramadan to return to their previous routine after the end of the holy month. For example, if people switch their sleep hours between night and day, they should gradually return to their usual routine by introducing sleep and wake times for a few hours each day, so that the body clock can be adjusted more easily.
Dr. Shah pointed out that it is not only about the number of hours of sleep, but also the quality of sleep, so you should pay attention to good habits that can help improve sleep quality, such as:
- Turn off the room lights
- Sleeping on a comfortable bed
- Adjust the ambient temperature appropriately
- Noise avoidance
- Turn off your TVs and electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime.
He concluded by emphasizing the need to get as much as possible uninterrupted hours of sleep, which gives one a feeling of mental well-being, refreshment and the ability to work well during the day without feeling sleepy.